All adults in Oregon will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations as of May 1 under a binding order from the Biden administration.
Appearing before the House Subcommittee on COVID-19, Oregon Health Authority Director Pat Allen said the policy U-turn was tied to future supplies of the federally controlled vaccine.
“So it’s first come, first serve, as of May 1?” asked Rep. Cedric Hayden, R-Roseburg, vice-chair of the committee.
“Yep, yep,” Allen said.
Allen first discussed Oregon’s new direction under the Biden order during an interview Wednesday on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s “Think Out Loud” radio program.
Biden had first announced his intention to give eligibility to all adults during a national television address.
“If we do this together, by July the 4th, there is a good chance you, your family and friends can get together in your backyard or in your neighborhood and celebrate Independence Day,” he said.
Biden said Americans could “not only mark our independence as a nation but we begin to mark our independence from this virus.”
Shortly after Biden’s announcement, Gov. Kate Brown said the state would stick with its long-planned phased eligibility that would not match Biden’s plan until July 1.
While praising the president’s “audacious” timetable, Brown and Oregon health officials said the state couldn’t commit to dismantling its priority system until there were guarantees additional vaccine would be sent to the states.